Women Talk Tech – Episode 1: Adele Every, VP at Capgemini UK
By Anais Masetti - 20 February 2020
As part of our Women Talk Tech series, Early Metrics interviewed several female leaders from different areas of the British technology scene to gather their views on the growing presence and importance of gender equality in tech.
Young Adele Every hoped to work for L’Oreal but somehow she ended up in the wrong auditorium where Carly Fiorina, then CEO at HP, was delivering her vision for the leading tech company. A happy mistake that led Adele into a successful 20-year career in innovation.
We had the chance to sit down with her at the occasion of our Women Talk Tech event, and gather her views on gender parity, govtech and more.
The role of tech in the public sector
Today, Every is a Vice President for Capgemini in the UK and more particularly, working on the HMRC market unit. “Tech startups and SMEs are crucial to the public sector, she says. “And they have recognised that.” Indeed, she reminds us that the British government is aiming to work with 30% of small and medium-sized enterprises over the next 2 years.
In fact, Early Metrics’ team has had the privilege to work alongside Capgemini to support the government in achieving this goal. For instance, we collaborate to identify innovative startups who could help solve issues of high relevance to the public sector, such as improving the traceability of goods with IoT and edge computing systems.
Girls in tech and dreams of gender parity
According to Every, things are definitely moving in the right direction for women in tech. Governmental initiatives, such as efforts to encourage girls to study STEM topics at school, are starting to show promising results. However, she finds that it is still really hard to reach young women and encourage them to pursue a career in technology.
Part of the problem, she says, lies in educating young people on the variety of roles that are available in innovation. As she rightly points out, coding is only a small part of it, with plentiful opportunities for people to take on research, HR, consulting and more non-technical jobs in the ecosystem. So targeted interventions are still needed to open the eyes of young women on all the possibilities of growth they would have in the tech industry.
Still, when it comes to gender parity, Every sees it as a remote possibility: “I think to ever expect to have gender parity in tech is a big dream.” While it’s likely we will see an increasing number of young women going into innovation roles, getting them to stay in those roles when they decide to be parents is the biggest challenge. In her opinion, we need to be really creative about how we cater to mothers in tech and “maybe startups hold some of the answers for some of the large companies like Capgemini and for the public sector”.
Keep an eye on converging technologies
One of the most exciting tech trends for Every is the convergence between AI, IoT and blockchain. As these three technologies become more mature their uses also become more tangible. Going beyond, the potential for combining them amplifies the variety of areas in which they could be applied. “I am seeing and hearing lots of really interesting use cases about lots of different sectors and how they are adopting those technologies, Every states. She continues: “I think those are going to see huge change and transformation over the next twelve to eighteen months.”